When you decide to spend some time gaming online, it is critical that you have everything set up as perfectly as possible. It’s such a competitive environment that your opponent will gain an advantage if you overlook one minor detail.
Sure, the first thing you should always make sure of is that you have the fastest internet connection possible. Naturally, the next step is to ensure that this connection is always stable and does not drop out. So should you turn WMM on or off for gaming?
Without these two things, you will always be the victim of lagging and other issues that completely ruin your experience. The best way to ensure everything is in order is to use the proper equipment.
Even so, connecting to the internet via an Ethernet connection is always preferable. However, because the gaming world seems to evolve much faster than almost anything else, there is always the possibility that you missed something. We’re not talking about cool tricks like overclocking or anything.
WHAT EXACTLY IS WMM?
WMM stands for Wi-Fi Multimedia, as we briefly mentioned above. However, you may not be aware that every router that supports a Wi-Fi 4(802.1) internet connection has this feature.
These routers are specifically associated with Netgear routers. Essentially, they allow you to customize a slew of settings (including a graphical user interface) so that you can control everything your router does. If you know how to use it, it’s fantastic.
WMM also enables you to prioritize network traffic as you see fit to improve the performance of various applications. Assume, for example, that you are a big fan of streaming content on the internet. So much so that it has become your primary method of communication.
If this is the case, you can configure the WMM to increase the speed and improve your video and audio quality. It improves the overall quality of everything! However, this does not necessarily imply that it is suitable for gaming. We’ll get to that right away!
BENEFITS OF TURNING WMM ON
WMM has many advantages for regular browsing and media consumption, but it provides no advantage if you are a gamer. When the WMM setting is enabled, it will greatly assist with streaming services such as Netflix and Hulu, resulting in lag or slowdowns in the stream disappearing.
When WMM is enabled, video calls perform well as well. Because video calls and other VoIP services are prioritized, you’ll have the best video conferencing experience if you have WMM enabled.
The Wi-Fi Alliance had introduced a new feature called Power Save with the newer WMM standard. Power Save allows the router to enter a low power state when there is no network traffic to consume power.
This feature is more useful for routers that run on batteries, but because the average consumer does not have one, the benefit of this feature isn’t felt as strongly. It doesn’t mean it’s useless; it can reduce how hot the router gets after a long period of operation, thereby extending its lifespan.
Alternative Video: What Is WMM On My Wireless Router?
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HOW DOES IT WORK?
A WMM’s job is to specify the protocol that the AP will use to communicate the policy to the client, and the client must then send a transmit request. It does not define the priority policy.
This is the responsibility of the app or device that sends the data. A WMM is compatible with any type of home Wi-Fi system. You must enable it on your router for it to work. Take the following steps:
1. Log into Your Account
- Log in to your account on the router’s settings page. This is accomplished by entering the manufacturer’s default IP address, which can be found on the router’s underside. You can also consult the manual to learn how to access your router’s settings.
2. Go to the Wireless Tab
- Now head towards the wireless tab to edit the settings. You will find the WMM tab there.
3. Enable the WMM Support
- All you need to do is change the settings. This menu will likely contain advanced settings, but it’s best to avoid them unless you know what you’re doing.
4. Reboot the Router
- Once you have applied the settings, reboot the router and successfully enable the WMM settings.
WHAT AFFECTS ONLINE GAMING PERFORMANCE?
Ping or latency is the most important factor influencing gameplay in a more competitive multiplayer game. Latency is the amount of time it takes for data from your computer to reach the server and for a response to be returned.
This metric is critical in a competitive multiplayer game where every second counts. Bandwidth is another important factor to consider when gaming because it determines how much data you can send and receive in a second.
However, it isn’t as important as latency, and bandwidth becomes less of an issue if your internet speed is 25-30 Mbps or higher. Network performance isn’t as important when playing more casual games, such as turn-based strategy genres.
SHOULD I SWITCH ON WMM FOR GAMING?
When it comes to improved video and audio quality, streaming content is excellent. However, as it turns out, there is a bit of a payoff to consider. With the WMM in place, a great deal of emphasis will be placed on improving these aspects.
But, surely, that extra oomph has to come from somewhere, right? Turning on WMM, it turns out, will harm both your download and uplink speeds. Sure, the image quality may be improved, but this is a small price for most people.
CAN YOU TURN ON WMM WHILE GAMING?
Because WMM focuses on multimedia content such as audio and video, it may cause IP services such as connecting to data transfer services, which is the case for most online games, to take a back seat.
QoS works by allocating portions of your available bandwidth to the various applications that connect to the internet through your router, so your game’s allocation may be reduced.
A few video streams running in the background can cause issues with your game because WMM prioritizes those over all other traffic.
As a result, enabling this setting may harm the latency of your games, but only competitive games where every second counts, such as Valorant or Call of Duty, are affected. Other games where timing isn’t as important, such as Civilization 6 or Risk, will be unaffected.
When WMM prioritizes media over game server connections, those connections can become constrained and run out of bandwidth. Because QoS works well to keep queues in their proper order, your fast-paced competitive game will likely be the first to experience slowdowns.
WHEN SHOULD YOU TURN WMM ON?
Now that we’ve established the factors that contribute to the best possible online gaming experience let’s look at when you should activate WMM. WMM prioritizes multimedia traffic, so turn this setting on when you’re watching Netflix or on a Zoom call, but remember to turn it off before starting a game.
Turning it off is recommended when gaming, not only because it can interfere with your gaming experience but also because it can end up bottlenecking your router and preventing it from reaching the speeds it is capable of.
You can also enable this when uploading files to the internet or an FTP server, as it can significantly increase transfer rates due to large files being part of one of WMM’s queues.
HOW TO ENABLE WMM ON YOUR ROUTER?
We can now proceed to turn on WMM after understanding the benefits it can provide and knowing when to turn it on.
To turn WMM on:
- Open a new tab in your preferred browser.
- In the address bar, enter 18.104.22.168.
- Connect to the router. The default username and password can be found on a sticker underneath the router.
- Navigate to the tool’s Wireless section.
- If you have a dual-band router, choose 2.4 GHz. If you have a single-band router, you can skip this step.
- Turn on WMM and, if available, WMM Power Save.
- Settings should be applied.
The router will restart after you save the settings, but you’ll be back online in a few seconds. Check to see if you can connect to the internet after activating the feature.
So, we hope you found this little piece on WMM useful as you decided whether to keep it on or off. While we’re here, if any of you would advise the inverse of this article, please share your reasoning in the comments section. We believe we are correct on this one, but we are always open to hearing an opposing viewpoint.
Frequently Asked Questions
Does WMM affect gaming?
If you’re having trouble streaming video or gaming online and actively do both, try disabling both QoS (Quality of Service) and WMM (Wi-Fi Multimedia) settings. This will give this type of traffic a high priority, but it may impact your online gaming and upload speeds.
Should WMM be on or off?
WMM (Wi-Fi multimedia) prioritizes network traffic to improve the performance of a wide range of network applications, including video and voice. WMM should be enabled by default on all routers that support Wi-Fi 4 (802.11n) or later. Disabling WMM may have an impact on the performance and reliability of network devices.
Does WMM affect speed?
WMM is required by 802.11n and 802.11ac for links greater than 54 Mbps, so disabling it may slow down your overall Internet speed.